European & International News

Stop all sex selective practices say MEPs

(Brussels 08 October) From the European Parliament’s FEMM (Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee) comes the following resolution- Stop all gender-biased sex-selective practices, say MEPs

Promotion of an educational and social environment where women and men are equal, prevention of sex selection as a business, and combating discrimination against unborn baby girl foetuses are just some of the proposals of the resolution adopted on Tuesday on "gendercide", i.e. the deliberate killing of people belonging to a particular sex. The resolution proposes scientific examination of the root causes of "gendercide" and new legislation to address the problem.

"I welcome the positive vote of the European Parliament. We are addressing this particular sensitive subject for the first time. Gendercide refers to the systematic, deliberate and gender-based mass killing of people belonging to a particular sex .The report specifically explores the causes, current trends and consequences, stressing the need to address and uproot effectively all fundamental causes leading to gender-biased sex- selective practices, said lead MEP Papadopoulou Antigoni (S&D, Cyprus).

Combating gendercide

Policy measures, such as monetary support for girls from poor families and awareness raising campaigns about the value of girls, could be a good example of measures to enhance the equal value of boys and girls, says the approved text.

MEPs call on Member States to prohibit any sex selective practice, stressing that gendercide or femicide is a crime and a violation against human rights which need to be investigated. They ask for more educational programmes, employment opportunities and integrated health services to empower women to be responsible for their own lives.

Members also urge the Commission to do scientific investigation of the root causes of sex selective practices, to find ways to combat gendercide by offering aid, assistance, policies and funding.


According to the approved text, consequences of gendercide can lead to distorted sex ratio and male dominant population. In a men dominant world, men will have a problem to find a wife which could lead to forced marriages and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Patriarchal culture

Gendercide can be often found in the cultures where son preference culture prevails and where discrimination and stereotypes against daughter exist. Such sex selective practices disrupt gender balance in societies and discourage women to fully enjoy equal treatment, such as inadequate social security system, and opportunities, Members say.


Recent estimates of the distorted sex ratio between men and women show an increase in the number of ‘missing’ women from the world’s population, amounting to approximately 200 million. These ’missing’ women have been victims of either sex selection during pregnancy, through prenatal sex detection and selective abortion, or following birth through infanticide or child neglect.


Gendercide’ is a sex-neutral term referring to the systematic, deliberate and gender-based mass killing of people belonging to a particular sex, which is a rising but underreported problem in several countries, with lethal consequences; whereas this report specifically explores the causes, current trends, consequences and ways of combating the gender-biased sex selection practices, which also take the forms of infanticide and violence through sex selection (other terms, such as "femicide/feminicide", have been used to refer to the killing of women and girls as the utmost expression of discrimination and violence against women).

Procedure: Non-legislative resolution

Profile of Antigoni PAPADOPOULOU (S&D, Cyprus)

Report on Gendercide:the missing women?:

Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee:

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